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26 March 2019

FGC UES Starts Construction of Power Supply Facilities for Udokan, Largest Copper Deposit in Russia

FGC UES (Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System, Rosseti group) commenced the upgrade of 220 kV Chara substation in the north of Zabaikalye region. The power facility will be expanded to handle 50 MW for Baikal Mining Company (BMC), operator of the largest in Russia and third largest undeveloped copper deposit globally.

The second stage with construction of 220 kV power supply line Tynda-Lopcha-Khani-Chara will secure additional 146 MW for BMC. FGC UES invests approximately a total of RUB9.5 mn in these projects.
In the framework of current contract for technological connection, new bays will be constructed at 220 kV Chara substation for the two new power transmission lines coming to Udokan copper deposit. FGC UES plans to complete these works in 2019; the scope of financing appr. RUB500 mn.

BMC in its turn started the construction of 220/35/10 kV substation and 220 kV Chara - Udokan MMP high-voltage line at the end of 2018. These activities are also planned for completion until the end of 2019. This will ensure that all the work for Udokan MMP construction will be on schedule.

In future, after 220 kV power supply line Tynda-Lopcha-Khani-Chara (560 km) is put to operation FGC UES will provide additional power to BMC.

FGC UES is planning to expand 220 kV Chara power supply facility by another two bays by 2021 to connect a new substation — Bluzhdayuschiy, which BMC will build for power supply to metallurgical operations at Udokan. FGC UES’s investments will amount to RUB122 mn. Tynda-Lopcha-Khani-Chara 220 kV line is included in the comprehensive Main Infrastructure Facilities Upgrade and Expansion Program approved by the RF Government decree dated 30.09.18 No. 2101-r and also in FGC UES macroproject on extension of external power supply grid for Baikal-Amur and Transsiberian Mainline Railways. The current plans comprise 21 facilities in the territory of Siberia and the Far East. The total cost of the macroproject exceeds RUB105 bn. Two of the planned facilities have been completed, and another nine are at construction stage.

Resources of Udokan deposit are estimated at 26.7 Mt of copper. Start of commissioning works is planned for mid-2021, and at that moment power consumption by BMC receivers will increase up to 196 MW. The company plans to put Phase I of Udokan MMP with the annual capacity of 12 mtpa of ore into operation in 2022. The plant will produce copper cathodes and sulphide concentrate.
Chara substation (220 kV, 176 MVA) was commissioned in 1987. It supplies power to traction substations of Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway, Chara and Novaya Chara settlements.